Apache/.htaccess: Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header

I guess it’s meant that you enable gzip compression for your css and js files, because that will enable the client to receive both gzip-encoded content and a plain content.

This is how to do it in apache2:

<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
    #The following line is enough for .js and .css
    AddOutputFilter DEFLATE js css

    #The following line also enables compression by file content type, for the following list of Content-Type:s
    AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html text/plain text/xml application/xml

    #The following lines are to avoid bugs with some browsers
    BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
    BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4\.0[678] no-gzip
    BrowserMatch \bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html 

And here’s how to add the Vary Accept-Encoding header:

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
  <FilesMatch ".(js|css|xml|gz|html)$">
    Header append Vary: Accept-Encoding

The Vary: header tells the that the content served for this url will vary according to the value of a certain request header. Here it says that it will serve different content for clients who say they Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate (a request header), than the content served to clients that do not send this header. The main advantage of this, AFAIK, is to let intermediate caching proxies know they need to have two different versions of the same url because of such change.


source: stackoverflow – aularon and maxcdn

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